Accuracy in Media

Once known as a conservative paper, the Chicago Tribune has become a liberal attack dog.  It ran Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan out of the race after sniffing into his divorce records and publicizing the results.  The allegations of a sexual nature had nothing to do with Ryan’s qualifications for office, and he denied they were true.  It might have remained a local or state story, were it not for the fact that the beneficiary of the charges, Senate Democratic candidate Barack Obama, is being supported in an unprecedented way by media from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to New York, who want him eventually to become the first black president of the United States.

That explains why the Jack Ryan mess became a “scandal” seized upon by the national press.  In an open display of partisan bias, the same reporters who wanted Ryan out of the race have not shown any interest in John Kerry’s divorce records.  Kerry had two children by his first marriage to Julia Thorne, which ended in a messy divorce, and he has no children with Teresa Heinz Kerry, who insisted on a prenuptial agreement.  Kerry received an annulment of his first marriage from the Catholic Church in Boston despite Thorne’s strong objection.  It is not clear why Kerry sought to annul that marriage of 18 years, Whatever the case with Kerry, the destruction of Ryan sets the stage for the election to the Senate of Barack Obama, a black liberal who spoke at the Democratic convention and is a media darling.  But then came Republican Alan Keyes, a black conservative, to replace Ryan.

An Obama-Keyes race would provide a study in contrasts.  Obama is firmly pro-abortion while Keyes is pro-life.  Obama even voted against a bill to protect babies born alive after a failed abortion.  Human Events newspaper says the record also shows that Obama is soft on pornography, soft on crime, anti-Iraq war, and pro-higher taxes.

Keyes’ entrance into the race alarmed the Tribune, which ran an editorial calling Keyes a “rent-a-Senator” since he comes from Maryland.  On the website, Bruce Allardice noted that the Tribune “never said boo about Hillary Clinton’s carpetbagging” in New York being repugnant.  Another difference is that Keyes was invited to accept the Senate nomination in Illinois, and didn’t set about trying to find a state in which he could run for office.  Republicans in Illinois realized they needed someone with instant name I.D.  But since the Tribune raised the subject, Allardice said, “who are these Tribune editorialists who are such gung ho Illinois nativists?”

He tracked down biographical material on nine of the 11 members of the Tribune editorial board.  Of these, only one was born in Chicago.  He said it was a case of “rent-a-writer” being the standard for selecting members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board. Jim Warren, the Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune, is another example.  He grew up in New York City, went to Amherst College in Massachusetts, studied in Europe, and took a job with the Newark New Jersey Star Ledger before eventually ending up at the Chicago Tribune.

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